209 persons claim SAP subsidy twice in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 15 June) — A total of 209 residents from parts of Region 12 or Soccsksargen have been found since last month to have claimed twice the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) subsidy from the national government.

Cezario Joel Espejo, Department of Social Welfare and Development – Region 12 (DSWD-12) director, said such figure was based on the results of their assessment on the disbursement by local government units of the PHP5,000 cash assistance.

He said most of the violators were beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps who still claimed the subsidy despite already receiving them through their cash cards.

The agency had also documented a number of beneficiaries who claimed the SAP assistance twice in different barangays.

DSWD-12 earlier endorsed some of the violators to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-12 for further investigation and filing of charges.

“We are going to endorse the filing of more cases against recipients found to have received double assistance from SAP,” Espejo told reporters.

The official said the claimants mainly violated the guidelines on the release of the cash subsidy as provided for in Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

The SAP assistance was part of the national government’s interventions for residents affected by the enhanced community quarantine in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

Early this month, the CIDG-12 initially filed complaints of “estafa through misrepresentation” against 20 violators from parts of the region as endorsed by DSWD-12.

Eight of them were from North Cotabato, six from Sarangani, four from South Cotabato and two from Sultan Kudarat.

Espejo said they were continually conducting validation and cross-matching for the 666,411 households in the region who received the SAP subsidy based on documents submitted by the LGUs.

He said the process allows the agency to track individuals who may have abused the implementation of the assistance program in Soccsksargen, which received a total funding of around PHP3.5 billion.

DSWD-12 tracks and verifies SAP recipients through a locally-developed mobile application, which provides the names, photographs and complete addresses of qualified family heads. (MindaNews)